A Gallery to Play to was first published by Stride in 1999. Adrian Henri suffered his first major stroke shortly before it was finished, but was able to attend the launch later that year. Sadly he died at the end of 2000. Equally sadly, three other significant contributors have passed away since then: the art historian and Brechtian scholar, John Willett; the great Cornish poet, Charles Causley; and more recently the legendary George Melly. I am grateful to, and have very fond memories of, all three.
During the intervening years, the reputation of the Mersey Poets has continued to grow. This, coinciding with Liverpool becoming European Capital of Culture 2008, has provided a most opportune time to update the book and I would like to thank Liverpool University Press for giving me such an opportunity.
Special thanks to: Dave Bateman, Vivienne Brown, Paul Butler, Charles Causley, Brenda Charles, Maurice Cockrill, Mike Evans, Yankel Feather, Fred Grubb, Avril Henri, Bob Hewitt, Heather Holden, Jane Johnson, Jerry Jones, Catherine Marcangeli, George Melly, Andy Roberts, Annette Robinson, Juan Vitti, John Willett and Ben Wright.
Extra special thanks to: Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten for their co-operation, time and help during the course of this book.